Worship is such a big subject. Think about it, if someone asked you to define worship what would you say? If you started asking people what their definition of worship was you would probably get a different definition from every person you asked! The interesting thing is that every one of those people would have a part of what worship is. Worship is something we are to do in every area of our life.
At Relationship Church one of the unique things about our Sunday morning gatherings is our worship. Why do I say this? Every newcomer mentions this as the most unique thing about our Church. Hopefully that is a good thing and not just a ‘different’ thing.
Last Sunday I shared with the Dalton congregation 4 guiding principles of our worship on Sunday. I wanted to share them with you too in case you weren’t there.
1. Prophetic Not Predictable
Prophetic is a word I use to mean listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying. We want our music – as well as the message – to be prophetic. That means if the Holy Spirit decides to change up a song, add a new song, move into freestyle worship we are open to that. That means that the song list could change which would mean that our worship would not always be predictable. We don’t want to change for the purpose of change. But we also don’t want to follow a song list no matter what!
What does that mean for the worshipper in the audience? If a new song or a spontaneous song is being played the words will not be on the projector. There may be times when there are no words as the musicians just play allowing our thoughts to dwell on God in whatever matter works best for us.
What does that mean for the musicians/worship leaders? They have to stay flexible and listen to the Holy Spirit for modifications while they are playing.
For all involved it means a higher level of grace, flexibility, and maturity.
2. Excellent Not Professional
We want to be excellent in all that we do. That means for musicians/singers they are the best musicians/singers they can be. Their instruments/voices are in tune; their timing is correct, etc. When I say professional I am not talking about people getting paid for what they are doing. Professional to me is someone who considers the actual act of performance as the main thing. The main thing is to bring the people into the presence of God. That means the worship team has to truly worship God themselves as they play they can’t just have a great performance. If that is the case we end up watching them and not meeting God.
3. Messy is OK
When people actually worship and not just watch it is often messy. Messy means people may cry, dance, shout, etc. When you truly meet God different things can happen to different people. We are not advocating a behavior that draws attention to ourselves but at the same time meeting God doesn’t always fit into a nice ‘right behavior’ package. When Mary poured out her expensive bottle of perfume on Jesus’ feet it was different, expensive, and definitely messy.
4. Purpose of Worship is His Presence
Our pursuit is not worship. Our pursuit is His presence. All worship’s goal is to end up face to face with Him! Admittedly we don’t always get there but our criterion for a good worship time is not how well everyone played or sang or whether we liked the songs. Those things are important but the judge of how well a worship time was did the Presence of God come into the building and our lives.